Celebrating our beautiful boy's anniversary

Happy Gotcha Day, Relay

A great family trip

Our trip to Amherst, VA was amazing.

An easy way to make your own jerky

A DIY project your pups will love.

Set up an email alert for your perfect pet

Use Adopt-a-pet's search saver to let you know when your right pet needs a home.

Let's here it for the boy

I was so happy and incredibly proud.

We do it for all the smiling faces

Dog overpopulation is growing problem in the US and I'm trying to find my way to help.

How Relay became ours

Every dog has a story, and this is how our perfect pound pup came home.

An easy treat

Find directions on how to make one of Relay's favorite treats.

November 29, 2012

An early Christmas gift

On a thrifting trip with Jeff I found myself rummaging around the wall art. In between simple oil landscapes I found a reprint of a famous painting from the 1920's of a boy with a cowlick and girl with braided curls sitting on a bench watching the sunset with a little hound dog in tow. Although the reprint was a little rough and the frame was down right ugly, I asked Jeff if we could get it. He was immediately dismissive, and I continued, "It could be you, me, and Relay." He made some sort of comment like, "where would it even go?" and I let it alone.

Jump a few weeks later and the hubby nonchalantly hands me a piece of paper. 
Isn't he a stinker? In that short conversation, he made a mental note of the image, did his research, and drew me a copy. (Once again I lament not having a better camera than the one on my phone.) You can view the original work here. He later told me that while working on this project, he just smiled the whole way through. 

November 17, 2012

A bad day made worse by a terrible vet

Things happen. I had planned to spend today updating cute pictures and stories of a week spent on vacation. I think I will still do that to remember some sweet things, but that will be another day. Today I find myself at a loss. Or should I say today I am in loss.

Relay and the kittens spent the week with friends as Jeff and I visited family in Minnesota. We started the morning happily. Us greeting the kids, them getting ready to say goodbye. The girls had gotten so big, and under great care learned the litter box and were fully weened. The striped kitten was dubbed Boots, the tuxedo, Socks. Boots was clearly the lover, and while Socks also liked to be pet, she was the adventurer. As for the pups, Relay was eager to see us, and even our friend's dog who is normally grumpy, was loving the extra sets of hands for petting. It was just a happy time amongst friends.

While petting Relay, I noticed a lump on his shoulder. To my utter dismay, it was a tick. A big fat tick. I did my creeped out dance and we all rushed around like crazies trying to figure out how best to get it out. Google is a beautiful thing. It was while we were all fussing over Relay and going in with tweezers that it happened.

Socks started to yell out. We looked over to see the other dog glowering. The kitten had wandered over to him while he was chewing on a bone and he defensively snapped at her. Being just a few weeks old, even one bite was too much for the little girl, not yet two pounds. Her back legs started to spasm, she lost control of her bowels, and all four adults shared a collective moment of panic. Out the door we ran, Socks wrapped protectively in a towel, struggling to breath.

The closest vet to them was Carpenter-Pope Veterinary Hospital. As we rushed in I got on the phone with NACC. They are only budgeted for care they themselves provide and advised that we bring the kitten there. I asked for an update on her condition, but none came. I managed to stop the vet and explain that we were the foster family and the cat belonged to the shelter. The whole mood shifted. I was told tersely that if they wanted the cat, it may not make the trip. I asked for a diagnosis again, and this time I was reprimanded. On the phone still, the shelter stated that any outside care would be at our own expense. As I tried to sort it all out the vet came out with the kitten in a cardboard box. Shoving it at me, she said I owed $30 for the oxygen and that I had to leave now.

Bemused I wandered to the front counter holding the closed box that made no sounds. The vet tech was much kinder, but explained they had other problems with SPCA's and shelters in the area. She regretted the position I was in, and gave her condolences. As I waited for Jeff, the vet came out again, and this time more forcefully told me to get out. I was in no condition to argue the point and Jeff put $30 on the counter and we raced out. At NACC, we were told they had to put Socks to sleep.

While this was going on, our friend, needing something productive to do, thought to take Relay to get the tick removed by a professional. And not knowing our treatment there, she went back to Carpenter-Pope. If anything, her experience was worse. First off, they were unsuccessful getting the tick's head out so the whole trip was made an expensive waste of time. Second, despite Relay wearing his rabies tag issued this year, they required that he be given another shot. There was some arguing here, but they would not release him without one because they said the tags proved nothing. [The name of the issuing vet and a telephone number was listed on the tag along with the year, 2012. It was a 3 year shot, but even if it was a 1 year shot, he would still be covered. If they doubted the validity of the tag (which makes no sense in and of itself) they could have easily called the issuing vet and had the records faxed over.] Over vaccination is dangerous and irresponsible, and for what? a few extra dollars? Lastly, to make matters worse, when they understood that she was the owner of the dog that attacked the kitten, they proceeded to meanly lecture her.

I found out none of this, until we made it back to their house. Why they would be cruel to a woman so obviously distraught made no sense to me. That they jeopardized my dog's health because they couldn't be bothered to pick up a phone enraged me. And anger at that moment was a much easier emotion to deal with than sadness. I have reviewed Carpenter-Pope online, and am frustrated that this is practically my only recourse. That and hug Boots. Another bad day.

November 9, 2012

Collie & Sheltie picnic

One of the activities Relay missed out on while he was on bed rest was the annual Collie and Sheltie picnic. This is the first picnic Jeff and I got to attended and we had a great time. In addition to seeing so many wonderful animals we had fun meeting adopters and volunteers.

Our favorite surprise guest? Our lovely former sheltie foster, Ruby. That beautiful girl is doing wonderfully with your new family. And of course we saw Max who's staying with the rescue until Relay feels better. I'm not sure who was more exited, but there was a love fest between Jeff and Max going on.

Our special contribution (other than my Cuban sandwiches ;-), a custom made pet portrait by Jeff for raffle. It was a very big success and garnered the rescue a couple hundred dollars in donations. While we wait for the perfect picture from the winning family, Jeff completed one other portrait (the model was Tucker, the rescue president's very disguised senior sheltie) for the rescue's 2013 calendar.
With a few dozen fabulous poochies, terrific weather, great grub, and cool prizes, we had fun and were glad to get to know the Collie and Sheltie rescue family better.

November 4, 2012

Kittens II

Despite being on bed rest, Relay needed a little company. And I'm not sure they come much smaller than these two sweet neonatal kittens. This is our second go around with kittens for Norfolk Animal Care Center, but Pink came to us much further in her development. These babies were maybe 22 days old when we picked them up. Double the fun, half the age. (At least this time I won't lose them under my staircase.)

Relay and Jeff are complete mush when it comes to these little balls of fur. But I suppose I can't blame them, you can't get much cuter than a baby. When they are old enough to get spayed, they will be available for adoption. Until then they will hang out a little with us. And I can regale you with cute pictures. (And two bonus videos of unsuccessful nursing.) Enjoy!
OH! and if you can come up with a cute pair of names for these ladies, by all means let me know.


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